Auburn Hills, Mich., Dec 13, 2004 - DaimlerChrysler has begun production of the Dodge Ram Diesel HEV. The Ram HEV has start-stop capability, which shuts the engine off at full stop and restarts when the accelerator is pressed. A regenerative braking system helps recharge the batteries. The savings on fuel is up to 15 percent over comparable engines. The Ram HEV will be available to fleet customers. The Dodge Ram Diesel HEV is built on the Ram Heavy Duty (2500/3500) chassis and is equipped with diesel/electric hybrid propulsion. Diesel works well as a hybrid because there is fuel economy savings with a diesel compared to a similar gasoline engine. And, in the case of our 325hp/600 lb-ft Cummins Turbo Diesel, there isn't a comparable gasoline or diesel engine. Improved fuel economy and lower emissions are reasons that customers choose hybrids, but the Ram HEV offers another benefit. The truck can operate as an electric generator, providing 110/220-volt AC power, which would be useful on job sites, for recreational use and for use during emergency power outages. In fact, it can provide enough electricity to power four average households. In short, the Dodge Ram HEV is unique because it combines diesel and electric for propulsion, and it can provide electric power for on-site utility. Joining the Ram HEV are multiple Orion hybrid buses that are already in use. DaimlerChrysler also has plans to market other hybrids, including the new hybrid Sprinter van in early 2005. Hybrid vehicles offer fuel savings by using an electric motor and supplemental batteries to assist the engine in accelerating the vehicle. Further efficiencies are created by a regenerative braking system. Hybrid vehicles are part of DaimlerChrysler's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels and fuel cell systems.